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Spotlight On Teacher Observations

November 14, 2016
By Dave Intlekofer

One of my favorite times of the school year is Quarter 2, when I get to spend extended amounts of time in each of the classrooms. During this time, I observe each teacher for at least a full period of teaching. This “formal” observation is much more in depth than the typical pop-in observation, and it truly is a joy to watch our teachers in action.

SJCS has exceptional teachers, and we hold those teachers to high standards. We have a guiding document that lists the ideals to which each teacher strives. This is called the “Outstanding SJCS Teacher,” and it includes seven categories of characteristics that we look for in an excellent teacher:

Spiritual Commitment



Communication and Collaboration

Learning Environment

Planning and Preparation

Instruction and Assessment

The last three of those categories are directly observable in any classroom visit, and they form the bulk of what I evaluate in each Q2 observation. Every teacher receives a written evaluation and meets with me for a debrief afterward. We discuss strengths, potential areas for growth, Throughlines, best practices, and student needs. These conversations are wonderfully productive, and they help ensure that all of our teachers are continually growing in their craft.

If you would like to know more about teacher observations or our Outstanding SJCS Teacher document, I am always happy to share. We pride ourselves on o ering exceptional teaching, and I see that every day. As we continue the Thanksgiving season, be sure to thank a teacher for all they do.